The post-season for the Columbia High School wrestling team got off to a good start Saturday at Bermudian Springs High School. That was the site of the Class AA sectional tournament with the Tide grapplers battling teams from the York-Adams League and Mid-Penn Conference.
The Tide came home with and four others placing fourth to qualify for this weekend’s District Three Class AA championships at the old Hersheypark Arena.
Senior Marcus Fischer was the only Columbia wrestler to win a sectional title. Fischer, the top seed at 285 pounds, won the gold medal by beating Trevor Stover of Biglerville in the finals Fischer had the quickest match of the finals, scoring a pin over Stover in 45 seconds.
Fischer, who entered the sectional tournament with a 26-9 record had a pretty easy time advancing to the finals. In the tournament opener, Fischer scored an 8-0 major decision over Eastern’s Kasay Snell. In the semifinals, Fischer pinned Tony Aguilar of Littlestown in 4:54.
Placing second for the Tide were Derek Zercher (119) and Jordon Halter (135).
Zercher, who was the second seed at 119, lost in the finals to Trevor Hernandez of Biglerville, who was the top seed at the weight class, needed 65 seconds to put Zercher on his back.
The Columbia junior, who entered the tournament with a 25-6 record had a first round bye and then pinned Colby Starner of Bermudian Springs in 5:41 ro advance to the finals.
Halter, who was the top seed at 135 pounds, lost in the finals to Donald Minnier of Eastern by a 9-8 score.. It was the second time in about two weeks the two met on the mats. In the final dual meet of the regular season, Halter pinned Minnier, who was ranked 16th in the state at that time.
Halter, who had won 30 of his previous 32 bouts, had a first round bye then pinned Damon Becker of Bermudian Springs in the semifinals in 4:23.
Placing fourth for the Tide, losing in the consolation finals were Josh Elliot (140), John Markley (152), Bryan Flory (160) and Byron Germer (215).
At 140, Elliot (17-15) opened the tournament with a tech fall, 17-1 decision in 3:18 over Nathan Post of Delone Catholic before losing in the semifinals to Jesse Gardner of Biglerville, who scored a pin in 3:39.
Now in the consolation bracket, Elliot kept his season alive by beating Jared Spahr of Bermudian, 6-4 in overtime. In the consolation finals, Elliot was a tough luck 4-3 loser to Mitch Laratonda of Eastern.
At 152, Markley entered the tournament with a 15-14 record and upset third seed Alec Warner of Littlestown, 10-5 in the first match. Now in the semifinals, Markley was pinned in the first period by Tristan Sponseller of Bermudian. In the consolation bracket, Markley advanced with a 5-0 decision over Caleb Gerlach of Hanover before losing the third place match when he was pinned by Kevin Nichols of Biglerville in 4:08.
Flory, a late fill-in at 160 pounds, had the toughest ask of any Columbia wrestler at sectionals. He worked his way back through the consolation round to continue his season. The Tide sophomore lost his opening match to Kyle Bobo. The Biglerville wrestler scored a 52 second pin of Flory.
In the first round of consolations, Flory scored an 18-3 tech fall over David Zinn of Delone Catholic and then moved into the medal round with a pin of Robert Shafer of Hanover in 2:03. Flory then was pinned in the third place bout by Tanner Mitz of Littlestown.
At 215, Germer (21-10) scoed a pin in his first match by Joseph Post of Delone Catholic in 3:39. In the semifinals, Germer was a loser by a fall in 84 seconds to Matt Wolf of Bermudan. In the consolation round, Germer pinned Colin Rigney of Trinity before getting pinned in the third place match by Noel Aguilar of Biglerville.
The Tide took 13 wrestlers to sectionals and a few had a chance to advance.
At 103, freshman Jeff Carroll (14-16) lost his only two matches to Dan May of Biglerville by pin in 16 seconds and to Brandon McLasky of Eastern by a 7-2 score.
At 125, Ezar Bush fell a match short of advancing when he was pinned in the consolation semifinal by Tyler Shafer of Hanover in 2:34. Bush lost his first round match via a pin to Wayne Wivell of Fairfield in 51 seconds, and, then scored a 16-9win over Woodson Powell of Trinity to move within a match of qualifying for districts.
At 130, sophomore Alec Hooper went 0-2 for the tournament. In his first match, Hooper was pinned in 26 seconds by Barry Lewis of Eastern and then was eliminated from the sectional tournament when he was pinned by Austin Jackson of Bermudian in 59 seconds.
At 145, Todd Lingafelt, also went 0-2. In his first match, Lingafelt lost a 9-2 decision to Nick Mort of Fairfield and then was eliminated when he was pinned by Biglerville’s Tyler Lieberum in 3:28.
At 171, Johnny Vazquez was two and out. He was pinned in his first match by Justin Harrison of Littlestown in 3:18 and then lost a 9-3 decision to Brock Linebaugh of Bermdian.
At 189, Cain Warfel was eliminated in the consolation semifinals when he was pinned by Aaron Rooney of Delone Catholic in 1:30.
Warfel lost his first round match to Ryan Vaughn of Littlestown before advancing with a third period pin of Brendan Rigney of Trinity in 4:37.
Columbia finished fourth as a team..